Magic and Music: Norwegian Getaway to Debut 'Illusionarium,' GRAMMY Experience

March 13, 2013

(Miami, 11:30 a.m. EST) -- The 4,028-passenger Norwegian Getaway will launch in January with a new dining and entertainment experience called -- bow as you twirl your hands dramatically -- The Illusionarium.

In a statement, the line said the special effects-laden magic show is "inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne, the artistry of magicians such as Houdini and the popularity of recent blockbusters featuring supernatural characters." Passengers at the show will find antique spell books, "interactive" artifacts and relics in a steampunk-inspired environment. Visual effects from a 30-foot-wide video dome overhead will anchor the performances.

"It's just an immersive kind of experience," President and CEO, Kevin Sheehan, told a throng of reporters during a Wednesday press conference at Cruise Shipping Miami.

The Illusionarium will host 12 performances per cruise, two shows per night. Sheehan said the venue will have a capacity for 230 - 240 passengers. Price hasn't been set yet, but we're told it will be similar to the dinner & show experience found on Norwegian Epic ($25 or $35, depending on seat location).

The show is the result of a collaboration between Norwegian's entertainment team, Broadway director/choreographer Patricia Wilcox, Tony Award winning scenic designer David Gallo and veteran magician Jeff Hobson, the line said in a statement.

The space will replace the Spiegel Tent, which will host the surrealistic Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy on sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway. (The Spiegel Tent concept debuted on Norwegian Epic in June 2010.) Breakaway is scheduled to launch next month.

Announced earlier this week, the GRAMMY Experience will further differentiate Getaway from its sister. According to a release from the line, "the venue will feature artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. In the evenings, the venue will feature live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others." The shows will be included in the cruise fare.

In addition, Getaway will host the first GRAMMY-themed cruise, scheduled to set sail fall 2014.

No performers have been confirmed yet, spokeswoman Vanessa Lane told Cruise Critic. Additional details will be revealed in the coming months.

Finally, the line revealed a number of Getaway offerings that are already part of Breakaway's DNA. These include a fireworks display staged on every cruise; an Aqua Park featuring five water slides; an adults-only deck space that transforms into an al fresco club at night; and a three-story sports complex with ropes course.

Norwegian Getaway debuts in Europe in January before repositioning to its year-round homeport, Miami. The ship will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries. Like its sister, Getaway will also feature a seafood restaurant created by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian; an expansive indoor-outdoor space with restaurants and bars; and a variety of cabin options, including a top-ship, 42-suite enclave, and Studio cabins, the single-occupancy accommodations that debuted on Norwegian Epic.

--by Dan Askin, Senior Editor